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Brian May on how tragedy shaped ‘Another World’: “Music was my only safe space”

The reissue of Brian May's second solo album is out today (April 22)

By Nick Reilly

Queen's Brian May performs live
Queen's Brian May performs live (Picture: Alamy)

Brian May has opened up on how the tragic death of legendary drummer Cozy Powell unexpectedly shaped his second album ‘Another World’.

The Queen guitarist’s second solo record ‘Another World’ has been reissued today (April 22), some 24 years after its initial release.

But May says that the album’s initial recording process was unexpectedly derailed when Cozy – who previously performed with the likes of Rainbow and Black Sabbath – died in a car crash in April 1998.

“I’d lost Cozy which was an absolute tragedy for me,” May told Rolling Stone UK.

“He was my closest partner in making [1992] track ‘Resurrection’, which might be my favourite track ever. We’d started off making the second album when I got this awful message saying Cozy had died in a crash on the motorway.”

The guitarist, who was still coming to terms with the death of Freddie Mercury, dealt with the unexpected blow by throwing himself headfirst into the album.

That was very unreal, I was wrestling with losing Freddie, losing my dad and all that stuff so I got hurled back into this space where the only safe place was in music,” he said.

But in a twist of fate, Powell’s place was taken by the late Taylor Hawkins – who provided drums on album track ‘Cyborg’.

Taylor got to play drums with me as a very young boy, we met him when he was drumming for Alanis [Morissette] and you could tell he was extremely talented,” he said.

The title track of ‘Another World’, meanwhile, was originally written for the soundtrack of seminal romance ‘Sliding Doors’, but became a Brian May solo song after licensing agreements meant it failed to make the film’s final cut.

“I wrote it about me and how I feel about life, the strange yearning of how life might have been if things had gone slightly differently,” he explained.

“And I knew that a lot of people out there would relate to that too.”